Aime Cesaire

Césaire, Aimé

Aimé Césaire (Aimé Fernand Césaire) (ĕmā´ fĕrnäN´ sāzâr´), 1913–2008, West Indian poet and essayist who wrote in French. After studying in Paris he became concerned with the plight of blacks in what he considered a decadent Western society. With Léopold Senghor and Léon Damas he formulated the concept of négritude, which urged blacks to reject assimilation and cultivate consciousness of their own racial qualities and heritage. Césaire voiced this idea through poetry, collected in such volumes as Les armes miraculeuses (1946) and Ferrements (1960) and in the essay Discours sur le colonialisme (1950, tr. 1972). In addition to his literary output, which comprises poetry, plays, and historical essays on black leaders, Césaire helped Martinique shed the colonialism he abhorred and become (1946) a French overseas department. He held a number of government positions, including that of mayor (1945–83, 1984–2001) of Martinique's capital, Fort-de-France, and also was a member (1946–56, 1958–93) of France's National Assembly.

See his Collected Poetry (tr. 1984); studies by S. Frutkin (1973), A. J. Arnold (1981, repr. 2000), R. L. Scharfman (1987), and G. Davis (1997).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Engagement and the Language of the Subject in the Poetry of Aime Cesaire
Ronnie Leah Scharfman.
University Press of Florida, 1987
The Poet's Africa: Africanness in the Poetry of Nicolas Guillen and Aime Cesaire
Josaphat B. Kubayanda.
Greenwood Press, 1990
An Introduction to Caribbean Francophone Writing: Guadeloupe and Martinique
Sam Haigh.
Berg, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Critical Approaches to the Literatures of Decolonization: Aime Cesaire's Cahier d'un Retour all Pays Natal"
Antinomies of Double Consciousness in Aime Cesaire's Cahier D'un Retour Au Pays Natal
Nesbitt, Nick.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 33, No. 3, September 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Rhetoric: Readings in French Literature
Michael Hawcroft.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Rhetoric and Negritude: Cesaire's Cahier d'un Retour all Pays Natal" begins on p. 193
The Black Surrealists
Jean-Claude Michel.
Peter Lang, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Aime Cesaire and Surrealism: Cesaire's Function of Poetry"
Imperialism and Theatre: Essays on World Theatre, Drama, and Performance
J. Ellen Gainor.
Routledge, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Decolonizing the Theatre: Cesaire, Serreau, and the Drama of Negritude"
Working through the Contradictions: From Cultural Theory to Critical Practice
E. San Juan Jr.
Bucknell University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Aime Cesaire's Insurrectionary Poetics" begins on p. 141
Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787
Hakim Adi; Marika Sherwood.
Routledge, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Aime Cesaire begins on p. 20
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